Service Dog Training
Are you looking into the possibility of a service dog for yourself or someone you know? We might be able to help, depending on your circumstances.
We help clients who want to train their own psychiatric service dog. We do not offer training of specific tasks for diabetic alert dogs, guide dogs for the blind, or other service dogs. However, we can help with the training involved for the Public Access Test or similar manners/obedience skills.
If you are not sure yet about a service dog or what route to take, you might find the following helpful.
- If you are not sure that you (or someone you know) qualifies for a service dog, you should start by familiarizing yourself with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The ADA provides a definition for service dogs and who legally qualifies for a service dog. You can find answers to many of your questions here:
- Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
- In addition to performing specific tasks to help mitigate a disability, service dogs must also be trained to a level of high reliability in public locations, able to handle typical public distractions, and must not be disruptive to the environment. For an idea of what a dog might need to be able to do, take a look at the public access test from Assistance Dogs International:
If you (or a loved one) qualifies, then you might be looking for how to obtain or train a service dog. There are many organizations that train and place service dogs. You would need to research these organizations and find out if you (or your loved one) qualifies for their particular program. Most organizations train certain types of service dogs but typically not ALL types. Some organizations have strict guidelines as to who they serve – for example, military veterans or children. If you find an organization that fits your needs, contact them to find out the application process and how long the waiting list might be.
In some cases, it's tough to find an organization that meets your particular needs. In other cases, you might find one but realize that the waiting list could be years to get a dog. In those cases, or for other reasons, some people decide to train a service dog on their own or with the help of a qualified professional trainer. If that is the case, you want to make sure you do your research into what is involved. There are requirements a service dog must be able to meet. The training involved. How to determine whether a particular dog would be a good candidate for service work.
If you are looking for a qualified professional to help you, make sure the trainer is a good fit for you (or your loved one). Some trainers are highly qualified but not a good fit personally. Others might be a good fit personally but not qualified to help you with the level of training needed.
We would be happy to discuss whether we might be able to help you with your particular needs.
Our service dog training works the same and costs the same as our private training.
If you would like to get started with training, please complete the registration instructions under Private Training.